While Abasto is not known as an "official" neighborhood in Buenos Aires map -it belongs to Balvanera-, there is no doubt it is a place with identity and own mark. Synonymous with tango par excellence, every corner retains the air of the early twentieth century as reflected in the colorful houses and tenements that still exist; in homemade bars, where music and dancing are scurry; and in small theaters spread in the corners. If you just go through its streets and its history, surely you will feel surprised.
Abasto means the color, culture and spirit of Buenos Aires
But there's more. Over the years, it has become a space of coexistence of different communities. Each gives it its particular stamp, transforming the neighborhood into a fascinating and enigmatic place.
Its name comes from the famous and historic Central Market Abasto, which operated for nearly a century (1893-1984) as a large fair of fruits and vegetables in the city of Buenos Aires. Located on Corrientes Avenue, it is impossible not to stop and contemplate this monumental building transformed since 1998 in the Abasto Mall which occupies an area of 44 thousand square meters among Anchorena, Lavalle and Agüero streets.
This stunning shopping center makes the area on a very busy place during the day. Also, as it is crossed by Corrientes Avenue, it is the forced way to thousands of pedestrians and drivers that go to downtown Buenos Aires. If we were to put together an itinerary, this would be the starting point. But what if you leave behind the Avenue? The tour becomes a journey through time where tango and its most famous neighbor, Carlos Gardel, are the main protagonists.
If you're heading for by Anchorena, one of the side streets of the Mall, you will reach a passage created in homage to "morocho del Abasto". In the corner stands a monument erected in his name. And on weekends it becomes scene of street performances. But if you want to immerse yourself in the tango universe, you need not wait for the weekend. Any day, you can get close to Jean Jaures 735, where Carlos Gardel lived with his mother, and in 2003 was transformed into a museum devoted to his life and work. Also, on the street Anchorena you will find the bar "El Progreso" where Gardel met with his friends.
In addition, around the area- on Cabrera Street between Anchorena and Agüero- you will get the birthplace of Anibal Troilo. Or the canteen on Lavalle and Billinghurst where Astor Piazzolla used to eat. And if you stray a few blocks away, on Avenida Corrientes, the House of Osvaldo Pugliese, brilliant pianist, conductor and composer. All major figures of the Argentine tango.
Another must- on the street Jean Jaures, it is the Paseo del Fileteado, a form of decorative painting that is typically porteño style that shines on the walls of buildings.
Mixture of bohemian and wandering world, the neighborhood has a particular mystique. It also offers a host of dining, cultural and entertainment proposals for all tastes. Its streets abound bars, independent theaters, cultural centers and artists' ateliers. Proposals for the day, evening and night.
A few meters ahead of Carlos Gardel Passage, you will bump into Pasaje Zelaya, which pavement invites you to walk slowly and calmly. It is the street of cultural spaces. On the one hand, works the Argentine Center of Blind Theater, only theater in the world where all the shows are developed in total darkness. Every week you can enjoy works made entirely by blind people. A unique and unforgettable experience. Opposite, another theatrical proposal: The Cube. Café Concert, outdoor patio and bar in one place. Music, theater, clown, stand up and to design fairs. Across the street Anchorena, it opens the Cultural Space Pata de Ganso, a center for training, research and artistic production. A billboard with various proposals for dance-theater at super affordable prices.
If you like American and antiques fairs, walk along Anchorena or Lavalle Streets where you will find several stores that will be of your interest. Vintage boutiques with touches of art and design; vintage clothing, retro, domestic and imported brands; shoes and handbags; decorative items, accessories and many curiosities. Places with hidden treasures.
Night falls and after much walking, it's time to stop for a while. You can walk away, taking Streets Humahuaca or Guardia Vieja and immerse yourself in a more bohemian (and less pretentious) universe. There are bars where you can enjoy the music of live bands and tasty dishes from the kitchen of Buenos Aires.
Abasto is a neighborhood to walk and walk and to marvel. Worth getting lost in its streets and corners.